Social media is destroying our economy and happiness, new Bankrate survey shows

Have you ever taken to social media and wondered how someone you know can afford an apartment, a car, a vacation or even a smart handbag? Far from being unique, it is now not one, but several generations’ problem. According to a survey published yesterday by, 34% of American adults who use social media said they experienced negative feelings about their finances after reading posts from others. According to the study, social media not only destroys consumers’ finances, it also undermines their morale. Nearly a third of users are more likely to have a negative view of their financial situation than any other aspect of their lives.

According to a new survey from, 34% of social media users have a negative impression of their finances after going to sites like Instagram, TikTok or Facebook. This number rises to 47% for Gen Zers aged 18-25 and 46% for Millennials aged 26-41. In addition, users of social media felt more negativity about their financial situation than about any other aspect of their lives because of other people’s posts:

  • Appearance: 32%.
  • Career / professional success: 27%.
  • House / living conditions: 26%.
  • Personal relationships: 25%.
  • Hobbies / interests: 17%. found that social media affects younger generations more than their older counterparts. Nearly half of millennials and Gen Zers said they had negative feelings about their finances after spending time on social platforms, compared to 31% of Gen Xere and 22% of baby boys. boomers.

Younger social media users are also much more likely than their peers to report negative emotions about other aspects of their lives. Children under the age of 18 are also affected, according to the results of the study. 64% of parents of younger children with access to social media believe that it has helped to give them unrealistic expectations for money, where male parents are more likely than female parents to think so.

Younger generations have grown up with social media or have seen social media grow and evolve with them. But by design, social media is just an album with the best parts of users’ lives. Every post, image or update affects viewers and engages them in a game of “following Joneses,” analyst Sarah Foster said in a statement.

Why do we all feel so bad about our finances?

It is not surprising that the people who earn the least are most likely to feel bad about their finances after scrolling and comparing their lives with others and seeing what they cannot afford; 38% of people who earn less than $ 40,000 a year felt worse after having their lives slipped away, compared to 30% of those who earn more than $ 80,000.

The problem is that the people who are feeling bad about their finances are often the same people who contribute to the illusion of wealth that permeates large sections of social media. According to Bankrate, part of the problem may be due to the fact that a quarter of those active on social media post things to make themselves look successful in the eyes of others. 46% of Gen Zers and 38% of Millennials posting on social media admitted to doing so, compared to 17% of Gen Xere and 9% of Baby Boomers.

Although social media users do not necessarily believe that they post for this purpose, 62% said that people they follow on social media sometimes post to show others off. Younger social media users are more likely to think this way than older ones.

When asked what people who post on social media hope their postings will reflect, 53% said their values, 47% authenticity, 40% happiness and 38% intelligence. Only 16% of people hope their posts show appeal, while 10% said wealth / success, including 22% Gen Zs and 14% Millennials. 11% could not say what they hoped their messages would say.

This collective appearance of the appearance of wealth can also penetrate actual consumption habits and ironically make a person less wealthy. Social media also affects consumer habits, according to the study. 66% of Gen Z users of social media and 57% of Millennials said they made an impulse purchase of a product they saw on social media, compared to 45% of Gen Xere and 38% of baby boomers. In addition, more women than men report having made an impulse purchase.

The result of these purchases was generally negative according to the respondents: 68% of female social media users who made an impulse purchase for something they saw on social media regretted at least one purchase, compared to 58% of men. Social media is basically the new billboard by the way, but it fulfills the purpose of traditional advertising in a much smarter way. They seem to decorate normal, ordinary people with the most coveted holidays, outfits or products, ”said Foster. But the study shows that such purchases, especially impulse purchases, can hurt social media users’ finances instead of benefiting their lives as they thought they would, she added.

In an article published in April last year, Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University’s School of Business, claimed that social networking has made us “unusually stupid.” Haidt testified that the major social media platforms have inadvertently dissolved the mortar of trust, belief in institutions, and shared stories that have held together a great and diverse centuries-old democracy. This statement combined with the results of this study should we conclude that the media not only makes us unhappy but also stupid?

Source: Bankrate

And you?

What do you think about the conclusions of this report? Do you find them relevant?

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